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يناير 20, 2021 | Uncategorized

Translation Services for the Technology Sector

Translation services play a crucial role in all lines of business – and the technology sector is no exception. In fact, even before the pandemic forced us to change our working habits and rely more heavily on technology, the sector was forecast to grow exponentially over the next few years.

Of all areas from telecommunications to hardware and software, emerging tech had the highest growth rate – of 104% by 2023. Clearly, as a global industry, translation services for the technology sector are also in high demand. The translators and linguists who specialize in this field and carve out niches from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) stand to gain the most from this growth.

They are responsible for ensuring that cutting-edge products, services, and educational materials reach millions of people speaking different languages around the globe. But, other than general translation skills, what else is needed in order to provide quality translation services for the technology sector?

Technology Translators Are Technical Translators

With its often tech-heavy jargon and complex concepts, technology translators are generally specialized in technical translation. This is a sub-discipline within the translation area that focuses on translating texts and materials that are technical or sometimes scientific in nature.

Some of the types of documents that technical translators work on are product specifications, user guides and manuals, instructions, reports, analysis, textbooks, and other formats that require domain-specific knowledge and precise vocabulary. 

While machine translation is growing in popularity and size (set to be worth over $1.5 billion by 2026), it’s still just a mere drop in the overall translation industry bucket, currently valued at over $50 billion. That’s because machine translation is still not reliable enough to provide the levels of accuracy needed in this niche.

Localization and Translation Services 

Many people get localization and translation services mixed up and it’s easy to understand why. Say you have a software product or app in English and you want to roll it out to a French-speaking audience. Naturally, as a technical product, you would think about hiring a technical translator. However, there’s a lot more that goes into preparing a website or software product for an international audience. 

Localization takes into account all the elements that need to be taken care of to ensure your product looks and feels like a genuine native version. Every detail from units of weight and measurements to price and numbers display, colors and images, and even preferred payment methods needs to be considered.

Your technical translator cannot do this alone. He or she is better off suited to your user guides, manuals, and developer documentation than to your marketing website – unless there is tech-heavy wording on your site. In this case, you will need a combination of technical translators and localization experts to deliver the best possible service.

A Word on Bad Technical Translation

As with any industry, poor translations in technology can end up costing you a lot of money and harm the reputation of your brand. Reading a text that’s littered with errors is a fast way of turning your audience off and can also cause great confusion. It may even lead to your users interacting incorrectly with your product or trigger local regulatory issues if you promise something you can’t deliver.

If you’re outsourcing the building of your product to a non-English-speaking audience, errors in your instruction guide can cause unthinkable harm and delays in getting your product to market. So it’s absolutely vital that you choose a professional language service provider that you can trust – one who can offer you a full service with translators in every niche and localization experts to take care of the cultural details.

Machine translation should be avoided completely especially if your product is particularly niche. It may save you costs initially but the inaccuracies from a software unable to recognize the difference between specific terminology and common language could quickly become an expensive nightmare that’s hard to fix.

Human translators are more rigorous and skilled in understanding key grammatical differences between the source and target languages. They can easily see if the relationship between words is inaccurate while, at the same time, nailing the technical lingo. This is the best way to ensure high quality and set you up for success with foreign stakeholders. 

How to Ensure You Get a Good Technical Translation 

When you select a trusted provider with proven experience in your niche, you’ll have the reassurance that they work with fully bilingual specialists who have ample experience in handling technical terminology and stay abreast of developments in your area. They’ll most likely be Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) that understand the audience you target and the products that you make.

Besides this, you can help your translator to do a better job by examining your source material before handing it over for translation. If there are any inconsistencies in your original text, your translator should be able to flag them up for you, but they may not be able to catch them all. It’s more likely that original errors will be carried over into your translated texts, so it’s vital to check the quality of your source.

It may be tempting to cut costs by hiring a cheaper freelance translator or resorting to machine translation but, as discussed above, this will only end up more costly in the end. Poor translations can lead to go-to-market delays or mistakes in the final product that cost more than just money to resolve – and may even ruin your chances of making a lasting impression in a new market.